Monday, April 22, 2013
The Cypress Tree
August 12, 2008
Hi my friends,
All I could think about yesterday, was that I wish that all of you could have been with me, and then it dawned on me that you can, if I take you there, so get ready we are going tubing. You first have to get to the river, and that is an hour and a half drive.
My grandson, proud owner of his first car drove us there, and it would have been perfect except for the family of ducks that walked out into the road. My grandson could do nothing but hit them as there were cars on the right, a divider median on the left and a car behind him that would have hit him had he braked suddenly. It was an ominous way to start our day and all our hearts were sad.
We arrived at the place where we rented out tubes for the day; tied them onto the car, and made our way to the river. While we were walking down carrying our tubes, my youngest who has a way with dark humor said," what if today was the day I drowned in the river? " I knew that he can not swim and it is a reasonable fear for him. It is the reason we always get a boat, but last time we got a tube and he enjoyed that. Today for some reason he was fearful, and when he said it, it struck fear in my heart. I asked him to not release that kind of thought into the world as it could set us up for some negative karma that day. I was trying to reassure him and he was laughing at his humor.
As we got into the water, I fell into my tube and was ready and it was his turn. When he went to get into his tube he miscalculated, fell into the water upside down with the tube on top of him and went sputtering under water. I was away from him in the current and could not get to him, but I shouted for someone to get him, as he can not swim. Luckily my daughter got in and helped him stand in the 3 feet of water that he was in. He had panicked and would surely have drowned. He was so disoriented and frightened that he had forgotten he could stand. We helped him up, calmed his fears, got him on his tube, and after the panic cleared and he could think again, he said, "I will never release a dark thought like that into the universe again." Valuable lesson learned, but at what cost. I am so thankful that he was safe...
We started our lazy float down the river which is nestled amongst 500+ yr old Cypress trees that are as huge as the redwoods of California. Reaching so high into the sky, with their gnarled roots that look like stalagmites in a cavern.
They have Spanish Moss hanging from them doing a lulling dance for you as it sways in the breeze. I got sleepy watching but you have to stay alert in the river lest you float into the banks of the river where you will see water moccasins sitting on roots. If you are not careful, you may put your hand on one as you push away from the bank. This is the reason I stay on a tube or a boat to float down the river. They do cross the lake at times and are so used to human noise that they do not bother you unless you were to touch them.
I remember swimming as a kid in the Escambia River near my home. We would see a snake and get out of the water; let it swim past and get back in. We did the same with the alligator that lived at Munson, but for some reason I am not near as brave now, nor near as immortal as I was then.
We continued our float and saw many egrets and cranes, stretching their magnificent necks tall into an "S" Shape as they reached for the sky. They stared at us, as we viewed the amazing place where they lived. I saw some kids ahead of me splashing water on them as we passed and thought to myself, "was I ever that stupid, that I could not just enjoy the beauty without trying to change it in some way?" And the answer was yes. I remember shooing birds away as a kid. The cardinal, blue jays, and even the buzzards that would come to eat, but now as my minds eyes have grown, I sit mesmerized by every subtle movement they make and see the wonder of all that is around me.
We saw turtles of every size, tiny, middle, and large ones, sunning themselves on the magnificent roots, and marveled at the colors underneath them of orange, red, and yellow. Truly an artist palate for all to see and take in. The wild white orchids were breathtaking to see. So delicate, and so beautiful. They dot the banks of the river growing wild, making me sigh with pleasure each time I saw one.
My sons tube was tied to mine and after his initial shock , he settled down and enjoyed the gifts around us also. He is my youngest but an old soul. I asked him a question once asked of me, of what 5 things would we make law to change the world and make it a better place to live and he replied, "to never harm anothers spirit. If you do this one thing, you need no other." I could see the wisdom in that. He has also told me that I birth "old people" and I also see the truth in that , as I watch the wisdom in my daughters that is only gained through time lived and lessons learned..
I spent the day where Mammoths , Mastodon's, and The Giant sloth roamed years before, and felt transported to an earlier day, feeling like an Indian settler seeing all these things for the first time, and humbled at being given another day to view the beauty that surrounds me and to fill my heart up with it.
I am blessed and so are all of you..
The Pictures used are from the web site. I had many but unfortunately they were lost on my last computer. I hope that you enjoy these..